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What we are going to look at now is what is more commonly known as PPE. PPE stands for personal protective equipment, and it is a legal requirement by your employer to ensure that you have a personal protective equipment supplied to you for you to be able to carry out specific tasks, and he cannot make you pay for that PPE. Some examples we have just behind me here in relation to personal protective equipment that are actually required when it comes to confined space work are things such as our harnesses, as we have here. We have our helmets, safety helmets, which are a requirement. We do have, as well, safety glasses that may be a requirement on certain sites and certain environments that we are working in and also gloves to protect our hands. What we have got to think about as well is what kind of overalls we are going to require giving us the protection from the environment that we are working in. And also, it may be a case that we are going to be on our hands and knees quite a bit, so we might even require protection for our knees such as knee pads.

This is just a basic PPE selection that is required for a basic entry into a confined space. It may be a case where we will actually be going into an environment where we may need to put additional things in place such as chemical Wellingtons, chemical suits or even down to simple little things where it is not just a pair of basic overalls, but they are actually fire retardant and they are also anti-static. Something else that we also need to take into consideration is what we are wearing on our feet. Our footwear, our safety boots are very important when it comes to working in confined space environments as well. And even though we do have that steel protection on the toes because we may be working in, say a flammable environment, we need to make sure that they have no steel shown because there is a potential for spark there. We know it is a legal requirement for our employer to supply us with the personal protective equipment, take in mind that personal protective equipment is only classed as our last line of defence. When it is supplied to us by our employer, we have a duty to wear that, to give us that last line of defence that is required. Okay. When it comes down to thinking about PPE, make sure that it is suitable and sufficient for the task that we are going to be using it in. Make sure it is in date because a lot of personal protective equipment does have to be in date. And it has been regularly inspected and formally examined on a six-monthly basis.

Six monthly bases primarily for harnesses because they are classed as working in the hot equipment as well as confined space entry. So, going into a harness, just to have a look at our basic harness, there are so many different types of harnesses out on the market. These are actually classed as rescue harnesses because they do have a specific part designed for rescue only. We could actually go out and just buy a basic full arrest harness. How do I know this is a rescue harness? Well, first of all, if I was to look at the label here, the label actually gives me information on there. And the information that it gives me is in relation to EN numbers. A basic full arrest harness will have an EN number 361. Because this has an addition to it to make it a rescue harness, it has a further EN number that tells me now that it is not only a basic full arrest harness, but it is a rescue harness. Literally, tells me that it has had an addition which is called the extension webbing. And the extension webbing is designed so that if I do need to extricate somebody from a confined space either it is a vertical position, it will keep the body in that vertical position to be able to get them out of a small environment.

When it comes to a harness, the things we need to look at on the harness, again, is not just making sure it is fit for purpose, but we need to ensure that obviously, it does have a serial number on it which does come on the tag exactly where the EN number will be held. We also need to look at the data manufacturer because different harnesses have different life spans, which are recommended by the manufacturers. Take in mind, it is recommended. For instance, we have a Yale Harness here from first use. This may only be a five-year lifespan. Whereas, if I went to another manufacturer, they might even give me a 10-year lifespan from first use. Once we have decided and had a look at that, and we know that that is in date and we can fully read the serial number on there because we must make sure that we can identify this to its inspection records, so it needs to be fully legible. We will then look at the harness itself and we will go through the previous inspection on the harness. We have to make sure that we are checking everything to do with the webbing, we need to check all the stitching on it, and we also need to make sure that we are checking all the metal work on it.

Moving on from harnesses, different types of helmets. Again, helmets have life spans. Dependent on the manufacturer of the helmet depends on the lifespan. Helmets need to be looked at as well. They do need to be inspected and certain helmets should have inspection records as well. For example, this helmet here has a 10-year lifespan. Ideally, if I was to use this in a working at high environment or a confined space environment, I should have an inspection record for this because of the lifespan of the helmet. Previous checks on the helmets are very simple. We just need to make that there is no serious damage done to them and the cradle inside has no damage at all and it fits my head comfortably. We also have to think about gloves. Gloves are another important part of the industry because we need to protect our hands wherever we possibly can.

It may be a case of just a normal pair of gloves like I am holding in my hands now, or it might even be where I have to wear more intense gloves which are like our chemical gloves, which can make it very difficult to work, or it might be a case of I will just be wearing nitrile gloves because the work is quite delicate and I need to be able to use my fingers a little bit better. Moving from there, we have our overalls. As we were saying before, it might be a case of I need to put chemical suits on. So, it might not be a case of using overalls. It might be a case of actually using the chemical suit with Wellington boots instead of my safety shoes. But basic overalls like these, they are there to make sure that my arms are covered. They are protecting the clothes that I am wearing underneath.

And what we have also got to take into consideration is a lot of the sites where we do go to do work, we must have reflective stripes and high visibility on our overalls. This will help when we are actually working in confined spaces as well. Because if we are actually working in those confined spaces, and we do have to look for somebody, it will help us to be able to see them more clearly than if they were just wearing straight dark colours as I am wearing now. Moving on from the overalls as I say. Again, yes, it might be a case where I am going to be on my hands and knees quite a lot. So again, I need to protect my knees.

What we have here is an example of a knee pad. They do come in many forms and shapes. But the knee pad is designed there to allow me to be able to put it around my knee. And then when I am on my hands and knees, as you can see there, that will give my knees the protection. You can actually buy overalls that do have the slot in them as I can show you now just as a quick example, rather than having to wrap that around my knee. If I just go down a second, I could actually slot it into some types of trousers where they have the actual pocket design for putting knee protection in.